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Chapel Hill's Greatest Fathers

by Charly Mann

Chapel Hill was blessed with an abundance of great fathers in the 1950s. Somehow these men who had grown up in the Great Depression and most of whom were veterans of World War II were all kind, honest, decent, and selfless individuals. They all enjoyed their work, but loved their families even more. These guys were authority figures who did not often have to give instructions. Through their own actions you knew what was expected. They really did inspire by example. Besides my own wonderful Dad, I saw these characteristics in the fathers of many of my closest friends including, Henry Brandis, who was Dean of the Law School, Bob Cox, who was a downtown merchant, David McGowan, who was a pharmaceutical salesman and reminded me of Fred McMurray on My Three Sons, George Prillaman, who ran UNC Food Services such as Lenoir Hall and was the personification of cool, and Sandy McClamroch who was the Mayor of Chapel Hill for most of the 1960s and owned WCHL yet was as laid back as Ozzie Nelson in the Adventures of Ozzie and Harriett. These men were great to be around and each left an indelible impression on me about how to be a responsible adult and father.


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Donald Patterson      2:34 PM Fri 6/24/2011

I well remember the PIne Room in the late 1950s. A steak dinner for less than a dollar, and great milkshakes for 15 cents. I also recall them having wonderful pizza and fried chicken.

Sweet Pea      8:37 PM Sat 6/18/2011

Happy Father's Day Charly! You were like a father to me in 1983 & 84. Thanks for all the support and love.

Susan CHHS 67      9:53 AM Fri 6/17/2011

I would add Maurice Julian, Roland Giduz, and Bill Friday to your list of great Chapel Hill fathers. I was lucky to know all three men and their families when I was a teenager.<br \><br \>Do you think you will ever do an article on THE PATIO or the Drive-In movie theater that was located across from where Eastgate Shopping Center is now?

Bill A      3:21 PM Thu 6/16/2011

Good pictures - both verbally and graphically - of several Chapel Hill dads in the 50s and 60s, Charly. Thanks for putting the piece together at this time of year! <br \> <br \>While Frank may be correct in his comment/observation about &quot; ... most male adults...&quot; these days, I sense that generations often see those that follow in a less than flattering light, tending to honor and respect our predecessors. Perhaps my family is unusual but our sons and sons-in-law, while handling their fatherly responsibilities a bit differently from how I might, are doing a pretty solid job. I tip my hat to them and admire what they have achieved.

Frank Phillips      6:13 AM Thu 6/16/2011

Fathers of that generation were indeed remarkable. I was also lucky to be raised by a great Dad from that time. I know I will never measure up to him as a father, but I think I will have done well in life if I can be half the man he was.<br \><br \>Today I look around and see most male adults never really become full men. They retain characteristics of &quot;boys&quot; throughout their lives.

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Chapel Hill is located on a hill whose only distinguishing feature in the 18th century was a small chapel on top called New Hope Chapel. This church was built in 1752 and is currently the location of The Carolina Inn. The town was founded in 1819, and chartered in 1851.



What is it that binds us to this place as to no other? It is not the well or the bell or the stone walls. or the crisp October nights. No, our love for this place is based upon the fact that it is as it was meant to be, The University of the People.

-- Charles Kuralt



Dark Side of the Hill -- Pink Floyd, the creators of the most popular album in history, Dark Side of the Moon, took the second half of their name from Floyd Council, a Chapel Hill native, and great blues singer and guitarist. He once belonged to a group called "The Chapel Hillbillies".



Check out Charly Mann's other website:
Oklahoma Birds and Butterflies


We need your help. Send your submissions, ideas, photos, and questions to CHMemories@gmail.com.





There would probably be no Chapel Hill if the University of North Carolina Board of Trustees in 1793 had not chosen land across from New Hope Chapel for the location of the university. By 1800 there were about 100 people living in thirty houses surrounding the campus.



The University North Carolina's first student was Hinton James, who enrolled in February, 1795. There is now a dormitory on the campus named in his honor.





The University of North Carolina was closed from 1870 to 1875 because of lack of state funding.





William Ackland left his art collection and $1.25 million to Duke University in 1940 on the condition that he would be buried in the art museum that the University was to build with his bequest. Duke rejected this condition even though members of the Duke Family are buried in Duke Chapel. What followed was a long and acrimonious legal battle between Ackland relatives who now wanted the inheritance, Rollins College, and the University of North Carolina, each attempting to receive the funds. The case went all the way to the United States Supreme Court, and in 1949 UNC was awarded the money for the museum. Ackland is buried near the museum's entrance. When the museum first opened, in the early sixties, there were rumors that his remains were leaking out of the mausoleum.



The official name of the Arboretum on the University of North Carolina campus is the Coker Arboretum. It is named after Dr. William Cocker, the University's first botany professor. It occupies a little more than five acres. It was founded in 1903.



Chapel Hill's main street has always been called Franklin Street. It was named after Benjamin Franklin in the early 1790s.



We need your help. Send your submissions, ideas, photos, and questions to CHMemories@gmail.com.



Chapel Hill High School and Chapel Hill Junior High were on Franklin Street in the same location as University Square until the mid 1960s.



The Colonial Drug Store at 450 West Franklin Street was owned and operated by John Carswell. It was famous for a fresh-squeezed carbonated orange beverage called a "Big O". In the early 1970s, I managed the Record and Tape Center next door, and must have had over 100 of those drinks. The Colonial Drug Store closed in 1996.



Sutton's Drugstore, which opened in 1923, has one of the last soda fountains in the South. It is one of the few businesses remaining on Franklin Street that was in operation when I was growing up in the 1950s.



Future President Gerald Ford lived in Chapel Hill twice. First when he was 24, in 1938, he took a law couse in summer school at UNC. He lived in the Carr Building, which was a law school dormitory. At the same time, Richard Nixon, the man he served under as Vice President, was attending law school at Duke. In 1942, Ford returned to Chapel Hill to attend the U.S. Navy's Pre-Flight School training program. He lived in a rental house on Hidden Hills Drive.



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